Last updated
EWTN logo 2016.png
Launched15 August 1981;37 years ago (1981-08-15)
Owned byEternal Word Television Network Inc.
Picture format 480i (SDTV)16:9/4:3
1080i (HDTV)
SloganThe Global Catholic Network
Live Truth. Live Catholic.
Country United States
Latin America
Asia Pacific
United Kingdom
Language English
Broadcast areaWorldwide
Headquarters Irondale, AL
Website EWTN.com
WEWN (Eternal Word Radio Network) Shortwave radio frequencies
AM/FM affiliates
DirecTV (US)Channel 370
Dish Network (US)Channel 261
Tata Sky (India)Channel 559
Optus D2 (152°E)12519 MHz V 22500 [1]
AsiaSat 5 (100.5°E)3700 MHz V 30000
Intelsat 19 (166°E)3940 MHz H 27690 [1]
Intelsat 20 (68.5°E)4064 MHz H 19850 [2]
Sky Direct (Philippines)Channel 23
Cignal Digital TV (Philippines)Channel 181
Sky Italia Channel 965
Sky (UK & Ireland)Channel 588
Astra 2G (28.2°E)11264 V 27500 2/3
First Media (ID)Channel 29 [3]
BiG TV (ID)Channel 617
Sky Cable / Destiny Cable (Philippines)Channel 76
Verizon Fios (US)Channel 285
Xfinity (US)Channel 42 (SD)
Channel 291 (SD)
Channel 1318 (HD)
CableLink TV (Philippines)Channel 75
Satellite radio
Sirius Satellite Radio Channel 130
eir Vision (Ireland)Channel 589
Streaming media
Digital media receiver Roku

The Eternal Word Television Network, more commonly known by its initialism EWTN, is an American basic cable television network which presents around-the-clock Catholic-themed programming. It was founded by Mother Angelica, PCPA, in 1980 and began broadcasting on August 15, 1981, from a garage studio at the Our Lady of the Angels Monastery in Irondale, Alabama, which Mother Angelica founded in 1962. [4] She hosted her own show, Mother Angelica Live, until suffering a major stroke and other health issues in September 2001. [5] Repeats now air as either the Best of Mother Angelica Live or Mother Angelica Live Classics. From then until her death on Easter Sunday of 2016, she led a cloistered life at the Shrine of the Most Blessed Sacrament in Hanceville, Alabama.

Television Telecommunication medium for transmitting and receiving moving images

Television (TV), sometimes shortened to tele or telly, is a telecommunication medium used for transmitting moving images in monochrome, or in colour, and in two or three dimensions and sound. The term can refer to a television set, a television program, or the medium of television transmission. Television is a mass medium for advertising, entertainment and news.

A television network is a telecommunications network for distribution of television program content, whereby a central operation provides programming to many television stations or pay television providers. Until the mid-1980s, television programming in most countries of the world was dominated by a small number of terrestrial networks. Many early television networks evolved from earlier radio networks.

Catholic Church Largest Christian church, led by the Bishop of Rome

The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is the largest Christian church, with approximately 1.3 billion baptised Catholics worldwide as of 2017. As the world's oldest continuously functioning international institution, it has played a prominent role in the history and development of Western civilisation. The church is headed by the Bishop of Rome, known as the pope. Its central administration, the Holy See, is in the Vatican City, an enclave within the city of Rome in Italy.


The network, through diocesan television channels in other Catholic countries, advertises itself as the EWTN: The Global Catholic Network. Regular programs include a daily Holy Mass and sometimes Tridentine Mass format, the traditional Stations of the Cross, a taped daily recitation of the Rosary, and daily and weekly news, discussion, and Catechetical programs for both adults and children. Christmas and Easter programming; the installation Masses of bishops and cardinals; coverage of World Youth Days; and papal visits, deaths, funerals, conclaves, and elections are also presented. EWTN also has a presence on satellite [6] and shortwave radio. [7] Spanish language broadcasts are available on all platforms. [8] On December 8, 2009, EWTN began broadcasting in high-definition. [9]

Tridentine Mass Type of mass in the Roman Catholic Church

The Tridentine Mass, also known as Traditional Latin Mass, or Usus Antiquior, is the Roman Rite Mass which appears in typical editions of the Roman Missal published from 1570 to 1962. The most widely used Mass liturgy in the world from its issuance in 1570 until the introduction of the Mass of Paul VI in 1969, it is celebrated in ecclesiastical Latin.

Stations of the Cross series of artistic representations, depicting Christ Carrying the Cross to his crucifixion

The Stations of the Cross or the Way of the Cross, also known as the Way of Sorrows or the Via Crucis, refers to a series of images depicting Jesus Christ on the day of his crucifixion and accompanying prayers. The stations grew out of imitations of Via Dolorosa in Jerusalem which is believed to be the actual path Jesus walked to Mount Calvary. The object of the stations is to help the Christian faithful to make a spiritual pilgrimage through contemplation of the Passion of Christ. It has become one of the most popular devotions and the stations can be found in many Western Christian churches, including Anglican, Lutheran, Methodist, and Roman Catholic ones.

Rosary Roman Catholic sacramental and Marian devotion to prayer

The Holy Rosary, also known as the Dominican Rosary, refers to a form of prayer used in the Catholic Church and to the string of knots or beads used to count the component prayers. When used for the prayer, the word is usually capitalized, as is customary for other names of prayers, such as "the Lord's Prayer", and "the Hail Mary"; when referring to the beads, it is written with a lower-case initial letter.

The network's current chairman of the board and chief executive officer is Michael P. Warsaw. [10] While the network has trustees, it does not have shareholders or owners. A majority of the network's funding is from viewer donations about which it advertises 100% viewer supported, which keeps it from advertising secular or non-Catholic programming. Its traditional plea for donations is "Keep us between your gas and electric bill". [11] [note 1]

An invoice, bill or tab is a commercial document issued by a seller to a buyer, relating to a sale transaction and indicating the products, quantities, and agreed prices for products or services the seller had provided the buyer.

EWTN also contributes to the publication of the National Catholic Register newspaper, which it acquired in January 2011, and to reports of Catholic News Agency, which it also owns. [12] The network maintains an online presence through its primary site, EWTN.com, and it has a dedicated commercial site, EWTNReligiousCatalogue.com. [13]

<i>National Catholic Register</i>

The National Catholic Register is a conservative national Catholic newspaper in the United States. It was founded on November 8, 1927, by Matthew J. Smith as the National Edition of the Denver Catholic Register. The Registers current owner is the Eternal Word Television Network, Inc. of Irondale, Alabama, which also owns the Catholic News Agency.

The Catholic News Agency (CNA) is an institution of EWTN that provides news related to the Catholic Church to the global anglophone audience. Founded in 2004 as the English section of the worldwide ACI Group, it is headquartered in Denver, Colorado, United States. Its executive director is Peruvian journalist Alejandro Bermudez. Its editor-in-chief is author and canon lawyer JD Flynn.

As of 2017, Michael P. Warsaw, who is a consultor to the Vatican's Secretariat for Communications, leads EWTN. [14]


EWTN's main studio in Irondale, Alabama EWTN studio.jpg
EWTN's main studio in Irondale, Alabama

Mother Angelica made her profession of vows in 1953. In 1962 she established Our Lady of the Angels monastery. During the 1970s, she was an in-demand lecturer and produced pamphlets and audio and video tapes. She had been a guest on local station WBMG (currently WIAT, Channel 42), and on shows on the Christian Broadcasting Network and the Trinity Broadcasting Network. After she gave an interview on then-Christian station WCFC (Channel 38) in Chicago, she decided she wanted her own network. "I walked in, and it was just a little studio, and I remember standing in the doorway and thinking, 'It doesn't take much to reach the masses'. I just stood there and said to the Lord, 'Lord, I've got to have one of these'". [15]

Religious vows promises made by members of religious communities

Religious vows are the public vows made by the members of religious communities pertaining to their conduct, practices, and views.

WIAT, virtual channel 42, is a CBS-affiliated television station licensed to Birmingham, Alabama, United States. The station is owned by the Nexstar Media Group. WIAT's studios are located on Golden Crest Drive near Valley Avenue in southeastern Birmingham, and its transmitter is located atop Red Mountain next to the American General candelabra tower near the southern edge of Birmingham.

The Christian Broadcasting Network (CBN) is an American conservative evangelical religious television network and production company. Founded by televangelist Pat Robertson, its headquarters and main studios are based in Virginia Beach, Virginia, United States. CBN has been described as having been "at the forefront of the culture wars since the network’s inception in the early 1960s."

Mother Angelica purchased satellite space and EWTN began broadcasting on August 15, 1981, with four hours of daily programming, which included her own show, Mother Angelica Live (aired bi-weekly), a Sunday Mass, and reruns of older Catholic programs such as Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen's Life Is Worth Living . The remainder of the time was filled with shows produced by dioceses across the country, shows from Protestant sources which Mother Angelica determined were in concert with Catholic teachings, and children's shows such as Joy Junction and The Sunshine Factory. About one-third of programming time consisted of secular content, such as re-runs of The Bill Cosby Show , public domain films, and cooking and western-themed shows. EWTN eventually increased its broadcast schedule to six hours per day and then to eight hours per day by 1986. Secular content was gradually reduced from 1986 to 1988, and satellite distribution was expanded late in 1987, after which EWTN acquired a far more desirable satellite channel and began broadcasting around the clock. At this point, EWTN began broadcasting the praying of the rosary on a daily basis and added a number of educational shows. In-house production of original programming gradually increased. The Mass became televised daily in 1991 from a chapel on the monastery grounds. Most shows from non-Catholic sources were eliminated and a more theological image gradually developed.


In 1992, EWTN established the largest privately owned shortwave radio station, WEWN, in the vicinity of Birmingham, Alabama.[ citation needed ]

In 1996, Mother Angelica announced that EWTN would make its radio signal available via satellite to AM and FM stations throughout the United States at no cost. [16]

In 1999, programs included Mother Angelica Live and "Life Is Worth Living" with Fulton J. Sheen. WGSN in North Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, was an affiliate. [17] Current radio programs include Open Line in which callers can have their questions regarding the Catholic Faith answered.

In 2004, EWTN announced an agreement with Sirius Satellite Radio, which thereafter merged with XM Radio to become Sirius XM Radio. EWTN broadcasts on Channel 130 on Sirius XM Radio. [18]

As of 2016, EWTN Radio is affiliated with more than 350 stations in the United States and more than 500 stations globally. [19]


In January 2011, EWTN acquired the National Catholic Register , a newspaper founded in Denver, Colorado, in 1924 as a periodical for local Catholics, and which became a national publication three years later. EWTN officially assumed total control on February 1, 2011. [12] EWTN also owns ‘Catholic News Agency’ which is a Catholic news service with bureaus across America, Latin America and Europe.

News coverage

The EWTN news department produces a daily news service for television and radio, featuring news sources including Vatican Radio. It also produces The World Over Live, which reports relevant current events. Journalist and author Raymond Arroyo, who is EWTN's news director, hosts the program. The program is conservative in its political orientation and generally conservative in its religious orientation. Notable guests have included Robert Rector of the Heritage Foundation, author and activist George Weigel, political commentator Laura Ingraham, conservative political commentator Pat Buchanan, and the late columnist and commentator Robert Novak, a Jewish convert to the Catholic Faith.

History of programming

In its early history, EWTN broadcast Catholic programming from a great variety of Catholic sources, which ranged from Catholic charismatic programming, such as that of Fr. Michael Manning, to programs focusing on social reform and social justice, such as Christopher Closeup , to doctrinal programs hosted by clergy.

In the early 1990s, EWTN began producing more of its own programs. This effort marked a conspicuously conservative shift in its overall orientation, with programs on topics of social reform and justice gradually eliminated and replaced by programs on doctrine and programs of dialogue. The shift was apparent in the daily televised Masses, which, in 1992, began incorporating Latin into the liturgy and gradually eliminated contemporary music. Some untelevised Masses are totally in English and some include more contemporary music. On Christmas Eve of 1993, Mother Angelica and the nuns of her order reverted to traditional habits. From 1992 on, the Latin portions of the Mass included the Gloria, introduction of the Gospel readings, the Sanctus, and the remainder of the Mass after the Great Amen, beginning with the Lord's Prayer.

Among its notable weekly programs are The Journey Home and Life on the Rock. The Journey Home, hosted by Marcus Grodi, presents converts to the Catholic Faith. Grodi himself is a former Presbyterian minister who converted to the Catholic Faith in 1992. [20] Although most guests are former Protestants, former members of non-Christian faiths (such as Judaism) and former atheists occasionally appear. Life on the Rock is hosted by Rev. Mark Mary, MFVA and Doug Barry.

The HD feed first became available to Comcast customers in Richmond, Virginia, and its vicinity on May 11, 2010. [21]

In October 2011, EWTN became available through the Roku streaming player. The player provides six live channels of EWTN at no cost, including English, Spanish, and German languages, thus permitting users to view the channel on their televisions. In addition, select EWTN programs can be viewed through the video on demand option, and a live feed of EWTN Radio is available. [22]

Often EWTN airs special programming: holiday-specific programs; coverage of the deaths of Supreme Pontiffs; Papal conclaves, elections, inaugurations, and visits; Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, and Easter Masses; installations of bishops, archbishops, and cardinals; and World Youth Days.

EWTN's top news program EWTN News Nightly [23] was hosted by veteran journalist Lauren Ashburn who was previously with Fox News Channel. The show is produced by Rodney Harris and Anna Laudiero. Ashburn left EWTN in July 2019 in order to spend more time with her children. [24]


In a 1993 episode of Mother Angelica Live, Mother Angelica harshly criticized a mimed re-enactment of the Stations of the Cross at the World Youth Day in Denver, Colorado, which Pope John Paul II attended. Mother Angelica was angered that a woman was playing Jesus. Archbishop Rembert Weakland of the Archdiocese of Milwaukee criticized Mother Angelica's comment as "one of the most disgraceful, un-Christian, offensive, and divisive diatribes I have ever heard". [25] Mother Angelica responded that "He didn't think a woman playing Jesus was offensive? He can go put his head in the back toilet as far as I am concerned!" [25]

In 1997, Mother Angelica publicly criticized Cardinal Roger Mahony, then Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, for his pastoral letter on the Eucharist, "Gather Faithfully Together: A Guide for Sunday Mass", which she perceived as lacking emphasis on transubstantiation: [26] "I'm afraid my obedience in that diocese would be absolutely zero. And I hope everybody else's in that diocese is zero". [27] Cardinal Mahony regarded her comments as accusing him of heresy. [28] Mother Angelica later conditionally apologized for her comments.

In 1999, Bishop David E. Foley of the Diocese of Birmingham, Alabama, issued a decree prohibiting priests in his diocese from celebrating Mass ad orientem (which literally denotes "to the east" but in this case means with his back to the people) under most circumstances. [29] Although the decree did not specifically name EWTN, supporters and critics generally agreed that the decree, which applied to "...any Mass that is or will be televised for broadcast or videotaped for public dissemination", was authored specifically to target EWTN. Bishop Foley stated that the practice of the priest facing away from the congregation "amounts to making a political statement and is dividing the people." [29]

Papal Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice Award

In 2000, Archbishop Roberto González Nieves of San Juan, Puerto Rico, performed an apostolic visitation of EWTN. Nieves determined that it had three distinct problems: its actual ownership, the associated monastery's right to donate property to EWTN, and, since she had never been elected, the authority of Mother Angelica. [30] Subsequently the matter was resolved when, in 2009, the Holy See directly bestowed the Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice award on Mother Angelica and the leaders of EWTN to express gratitude for their service to the Church. [31]


EWTN is the largest religious media network in the world, and it claims a reach of a quarter-billion people in 140 countries. The network is unrated in the United States, though various articles cite millions of viewers watch per month. On YouTube and other social media platforms, EWTN has more than 1,000,000 active followers and online viewers. EWTN is also available on demand on streaming services Roku, Kindle, and Apple TV. EWTN's Internet site is viewed 3-4 million times monthly, according to SimilarWeb. In the United States, EWTN is available through most cable and satellite providers with a reach of around 70 million households. [32] EWTN had an annual revenue of $60,084,643 in 2016, and holds an 86% positive rating through Charity Navigator. [33]

List of programs


EWTN's logo has incorporated a globe outline in some form since the network's launch in 1981 to suggest the network's hope of a worldwide reach, usually with an outline of the dome of St. Peter's Basilica within a profile of a satellite dish inside of it. The network had the sub-branding of the "Catholic Cable Network" until 1995, when with the launch of DirecTV and Dish direct satellite broadcasters (where it was a charter network with both providers) it took a new sub-branding of "International Catholic Network", then "Global Catholic Network" in 1996 after uploading its signal for worldwide viewing.

List of EWTN Broadcast Affiliates

See also


  1. According to Father Andrew Apostoli, TV host of EWTN: Sunday Night Prime, the saying is derived from the practice of Mother Angelica asking Jesus Christ for financial help, by placing a letter of request between the gas and electric bill (sometimes gas and telephone bill). The saying was later adopted for benefactors who donate to EWTN, in response to propagating its ministry.

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Mother Angelica American Franciscan nun

Mother Mary Angelica of the Annunciation, PCPA, also known as Mother Angelica, was a Catholic American Poor Clare nun best known for her television personality. She was also the founder of the internationally broadcast cable television network Eternal Word Television Network (EWTN) and the radio network WEWN. EWTN became a voice for American conservative and traditional Catholics.

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  1. 1 2 Satellite Information for Asia Pacific, EWTN
  2. Satellite Information for Africa & South Asia, EWTN
  3. EWTN, First Media, archived from the original on 2016-01-09, retrieved 2016-01-07
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  12. 1 2 "National Catholic Register". National Catholic Register.
  13. "Religious Catalogue Featured Highlights". EWTN.
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  15. Applebome, Peter (October 8, 1989). "Scandals Aside, TV Preachers Thrive". The New York Times .
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  22. Another EWTN First: Catholic Network To Launch on Roku Retrieved October 19, 2011
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  24. https://www.ewtn.com/media/press-releases-article.asp?aId=1114
  25. 1 2 Raymond Arroyo (2007), Mother Angelica: The Remarkable Story of a Nun, Her Nerve and a Network of Miracles, Crown Publishing Group, pp. 243–244, ISBN   9780307423726
  26. St. Thomas Aquinas Archived January 9, 2006, at the Wayback Machine
  27. Margaret O'Brien Steinfels Liturgical confusion-criticism over a pastoral letter Editorial, Commonweal , January 30, 1998
  28. John L. Allen, Jr. Mahony sees nun's critique as heresy charge-Cardinal Roger Mahony; dispute with televangelist Mother M. Angelica, National Catholic Reporter, Dec 5, 1997. Archived March 14, 2007, at the Wayback Machine
  29. 1 2 John L. Allen, Jr. EWTN's bishop says priests must face the people-Eternal Word Television Network-Brief Article, National Catholic Reporter November 19, 1999. Archived March 11, 2007, at the Wayback Machine
  30. "Mother Angelica: The Remarkable Story of a Nun, Her Nerve and a Network of Miricles [sic]". thefreelibrary.com.
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  33. "Charity Navigator - Rating for EWTN". CharityNavigator.org. Retrieved April 14, 2017.
  34. "EWTN Series". ewtn.com.